It’s likely that you have a lot of needs as a business executive. Much of these needs, however complex, have a lot to do with the workflow that defines your business — or even the workflows that help to complement your core business. As a result, it’s not hard to imagine that having the right tool can solve a lot of these needs, be they core needs or auxiliary ones. But this isn’t so much about getting just any workflow automation tools to fill the gap and meet some of your needs. You should be on the lookout for the best, workflow automation tool that possesses all the must-have qualities. And not to be outdone, we brought you a checklist.
One of the absolutes in terms of workflow automation is the need for a platform that orchestrates microservices with precision. In other words, it’s necessary that your chosen tool not only automates tasks according to a set of rules set for each microservice but that it also uses those rules to define optimal constraints for each workflow step, each microservice performance. Workflow automation tools are designed for exactly this, so if you don’t see microservice orchestration as part of the service, you need to keep looking!
With many processes, there are human components. Whether it’s the order-taking process, fulfilling the request itself, or something more skill-specific, there are times when you’ll delegate to an application as a microservice, and times when a deliverable is meant for an end-user to complete. In any such instance, it’s important that you’re able to centrally manage all the tasks of a process and delegate them to your employees or white label services just like you would to an automated step in the process. Within a workflow automation tool, these delegations can easily be managed and viewed by the delegates you’ve assigned, and the task hierarchy can be maintained with little effort. It can’t get much easier to automate human and computerized processes.
High Visibility For Processes
Whether it’s the theoretical process diagram that’s used for your operations planning or the actual visual representation of performance as the process is already underway, there’s a great need for a business to have processes with high visibility. You need to be able to see how your process is built, and you need to see where, in the heat of the action, your process needs attention. A workflow automation tool can provide both of these things, with many of them boasting diagramming tools for business process management professionals — and a proud few offering the ability to see how a task is going in real-time, with representations of life issues and even diagnostics for technical issues. Any business that needs to automate should also consider having such holistic visibility of their processes.
You can trust a simple report to tell you the most basic essential KPIs of your business processes, like throughput. But what about the hard stuff? What about the identification of bottlenecks, missed goals, of slack time that can be utilized? Luckily, there are tools that are equipped to provide you with all of that information and more. While some workflow automation tools are geared up only for the “here and now”, there are others that possess the must-have analytics that informs business process optimization. Collecting various KPIs and other metrics for an intelligent review of your business’s performance, you can even configure a tool like this to also flag certain behaviors that you consider poor performance indicators — things that can endanger performance goals in the long run. And, with diagnostic abilities to boot, these metrics can inform your automation tool enough that it can offer you suggestions on how to make your performance all the better — saving you the time you spend in problem-solving mode.
You want your business to grow. However, not every automation solution (or other solutions) allows for growth. What you need for the best possible scalability in your business’s continual growth is a workflow automation tool that makes it easy to add microservices, to add onto your business process. Whether it’s more instances of a particular step in the process, or simply the ability to contend with larger workloads within the same amount of time, you know what your business needs. Those needs can be met if your automation solution has the ability to scale the operation horizontally, allowing you to achieve more throughput with ease.
Maybe you think it goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: you need a solution that’s secure, no matter what the needs of your business are. Look at it as a matter of protecting yourself and your business — and just as importantly, your clients. With that in mind, you can’t go wrong with an automation tool that uses high-quality prevention measures such as virus scans, penetration testing, and even regular updates to security certifications. More than that, though, workflow automation tools often allow for only the process’s essential data to be stored, rather than transferring sensitive data manually from microservice to microservice. With automation solutions that are designed to protect your workflow in-house and in the cloud-like, you’ll feel a lot better providing the best services you can, and producing the best possible output in each of your essential business processes.